J. Drew Lanham, Naturalist, Author, Birder, to Present 2020 Errington Lecture, Oct. 22

October 5th, 2020

AMES, Iowa - This 2020 Errington Memorial Lecture “Coloring the Conservation Message” will be presented by birder, naturalist, author and educator Drew Lanham, Thursday Oct. 22, at 7 p.m.

The online event is free and open to all. Details, including the link to participate, are posted on the ISU Lecture Series page.

J. Drew Lanham is the author of “The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature,” which received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Southern Book Prize and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal. He has published essays and poetry in publications including Orion, Audubon and Flycatcher, and in several anthologies, including “The Colors of Nature,” and “State of the Heart.”  

Lanham is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University, in Clemson, South Carolina. He and his family live in the Upstate of South Carolina, which he has described as “a soaring hawk’s downhill glide from the southern Appalachian escarpment that the Cherokee once called the Blue Wall.”

“We are so honored to have J. Drew Lanham as our speaker for 2020,” said Ann Russell, adjunct associate professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management (NREM) and current chair of the Errington Lecture Committee. “We’ve been trying to schedule him for a couple of years, and although we were disappointed in the past when he wasn’t available, perhaps the timing for his lecture this particular fall couldn’t have been better, given the present moment in history.”

This year, the Errington lecture will receive special attention, as Lanham’s book, “The Home Place,” was selected as the focus for the first NREM Reads initiative on campus, according to Adam Janke, assistant professor of natural resource ecology and management. Janke is coordinating the departmental reading program, which will include virtual meetings with the author for students and faculty.

“Through the initiative, we seek to engage the NREM community of learners and scholars in important conversations about inclusion and diversity in the natural resources discipline,” Janke said. “Through the beautiful and insightful writings of Dr. Lanham's work, we'll discuss the importance of broadening conservation's stake in the U.S. and building a more inclusive and diverse professional community.”

This will be the 56th annual Errington Memorial Lecture at Iowa State. Event co-sponsors this year include the colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Liberal Arts and Sciences, the ISU Lecture Series, the Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion and more than 10 departments and programs. 

Paul L. Errington, considered one of the pioneers of animal ecology, was a long-time professor of wildlife biology at Iowa State University. He authored several popular books, including “Of Men and Marshes” and “A Question of Values.” The endowed Paul L. Errington Memorial Lecture series began in 1964 to recognize and pay tribute to his special qualities as a person and as a scientist. Past lecturers include such well-known scientists and writers as E.O. Wilson, Paul Ehrlich and Jared Diamond.


Ann Russell, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, 515-294-5612, arussell@iastate.edu
Adam Janke, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, 515-294-7429, ajanke@iastate.edu
Amanda Knief, Iowa State University Lectures, lectures@iastate.edu
Ann Y. Robinson, Agricultural and Life Sciences Communication Service, 515-294-3066, ayr@iastate.edu